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More Letters: Blind revenge

Blind revenge also penalizes innocents

In a brutish display of populist fury, excessive even by Congressional standards, the House bravely decided to punish the comparative handful who received more money than “we” think is fair.

All that was missing from this mob riot, fomented by Congress and the media, were the torches and pitchforks.

Thus the House was able to accomplish something they rarely have in the 17 months since this recession began: Actually vote to do something about the recession, albeit an economically meaningless something.

Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., screamed on the House floor. “Give us our money back,” neglecting to mention that the money would not go back to us but to the government – the same government that takes “our money” in the form of taxes. No one reading this will be one cent wealthier because of the House action.

Not to be outdone, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., reminded this distinguished group he had voted against the bailout plan. Conveniently, he failed to remind the assemblage that without bailouts, the catastrophic, worldwide failure of the insurance and banking industries would have cost us a great deal more of “our money” than the comparatively piddling $150 million now heroically rescued.

We only can pray the Senate will quickly either pass or reject this bill – the economy won’t change either way – so long as they get done with it and go on to something actually important.

In case you didn’t know, the bill taxes recipients of bonuses from companies accepting $5 billion in bailout money, regardless of whether the company was itself an innocent victim of the times, whether these employees did a good job or a bad job, deserved or didn’t deserve bonuses, or are or are not needed for the resurrection of the company.

None of this matters so long as we get our revenge. We’re angry and someone has to pay, and we really don’t care whom or why.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Wilmette, Ill.

Lauding New Mexico’s capital idea

I commend New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson for signing legislation to repeal that state’s death penalty. I hope other states that impose capital punishment will follow suit.

The primary scope of any penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation.

Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: As far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.

If bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of people, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. The Fifth Commandment states: “Thou shall not murder.”

Today, as a consequence of the possibilities the state has for effectively preventing crimes, the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not nonexistent.

There ultimately remains no moral justification for imposing a sentence of death. Violence begets violence both in our hearts and in our actions.

By continuing the tradition of responding to killing with state-sanctioned killing, we rob ourselves of moral consistency and perpetuate that which we seek to sanction.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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